4.0 in LPN program, not admitted to RN program

  1. 0
    Hi Folks

    I'm writing about a friend who is right now too distraught to know what to do and I'm hoping to find some advice for her on here. I'm a former New Yorker, but now live in a rural state. I'm posting here because anyone at the school I'm talking about would know exactly who I'm talking about and I don't want to further aggravate the situation. So...

    My friend graduated from a community college this summer with her LPN. The program is a funnel program for the school's RN program, though the school admits far more people each year to the LPN program than they admit to the RN program. My friend already had a bachelor's degree but with unimpressive grades. She took the prerequisites to the LPN program and earned all A's, then continued to earn all A's in the LPN program for a perfect 4.0 at the school she attended, winning a handful of scholarships along the way. She immediately found a nursing job that paid about half what she was making as a server in a restaurant -- the pay cut hurt but she felt it was important to immerse herself in her profession before applying to the RN program. She applied this fall for admittance to the RN program, which begins in January.

    Sometime last year my friend, who made a lot of sacrifices to earn the grades she did while working full time, told me something that I thought was strange. The director of the program remarked to some students that she would rather have a nurse who had been a B student care for her than an A student. It seemed to me like a strange remark for an educator to make. But it seems that the director has the courage of her convictions -- my friend wasn't admitted to the program.

    My friend knew that she hadn't interviewed well -- she said she "froze up" in the interview, but I would have thought that an applicant's interactions with the faculty over a few years would outweigh a case of the nerves on interview day.

    Anyway, I'm curious about how my friend should take the news. Should she assume that she's just not wanted in that program and look for somewhere else to apply -- which would require moving away? Should she try to appeal or write letters to the college president and board of directors and call into question the validity of the admissions process? Or should she wait around, avoid stirring up the pot, and just hope she gets in next year?

    From an outsider's perspective (OK, I'm emotionally invested in this, but I'm not familiar with nursing/nursing education), I just don't understand how a school could reject it's top student from the feeder program. When I was in college and grad school, it was just taken for granted that if you achieved at your current level, there would be a place for you at the next level. Is nursing different in some way? What's the point of doing well if it doesn't help you advance?

    By the way, we're talking about a normal, very social, person with plenty of outside interests and no character flaws, etc. This isn't a situation of the committee saying that there's no place for an intellectual freak of nature with no social skills. When her fellow students from the LPN program heard that she didn't get in, they responded with things like "wow," and "well, who did get in then?"

    Lastly, I think I've done what I need to do to conceal what state I'm in. If someone notices that there's a way to see my location, please let me know so I can make the appropriate changes or delete this post. Like I said, I don't want to make the situation worse for her.

    Any thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thanks

    RB
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from rb0824
    Hi Folks

    I'm writing about a friend who is right now too distraught to know what to do and I'm hoping to find some advice for her on here. I'm a former New Yorker, but now live in a rural state. I'm posting here because anyone at the school I'm talking about would know exactly who I'm talking about and I don't want to further aggravate the situation. So...

    My friend graduated from a community college this summer with her LPN. The program is a funnel program for the school's RN program, though the school admits far more people each year to the LPN program than they admit to the RN program. My friend already had a bachelor's degree but with unimpressive grades. She took the prerequisites to the LPN program and earned all A's, then continued to earn all A's in the LPN program for a perfect 4.0 at the school she attended, winning a handful of scholarships along the way. She immediately found a nursing job that paid about half what she was making as a server in a restaurant -- the pay cut hurt but she felt it was important to immerse herself in her profession before applying to the RN program. She applied this fall for admittance to the RN program, which begins in January.

    Sometime last year my friend, who made a lot of sacrifices to earn the grades she did while working full time, told me something that I thought was strange. The director of the program remarked to some students that she would rather have a nurse who had been a B student care for her than an A student. It seemed to me like a strange remark for an educator to make. But it seems that the director has the courage of her convictions -- my friend wasn't admitted to the program.

    My friend knew that she hadn't interviewed well -- she said she "froze up" in the interview, but I would have thought that an applicant's interactions with the faculty over a few years would outweigh a case of the nerves on interview day.

    Anyway, I'm curious about how my friend should take the news. Should she assume that she's just not wanted in that program and look for somewhere else to apply -- which would require moving away? Should she try to appeal or write letters to the college president and board of directors and call into question the validity of the admissions process? Or should she wait around, avoid stirring up the pot, and just hope she gets in next year?

    From an outsider's perspective (OK, I'm emotionally invested in this, but I'm not familiar with nursing/nursing education), I just don't understand how a school could reject it's top student from the feeder program. When I was in college and grad school, it was just taken for granted that if you achieved at your current level, there would be a place for you at the next level. Is nursing different in some way? What's the point of doing well if it doesn't help you advance?

    By the way, we're talking about a normal, very social, person with plenty of outside interests and no character flaws, etc. This isn't a situation of the committee saying that there's no place for an intellectual freak of nature with no social skills. When her fellow students from the LPN program heard that she didn't get in, they responded with things like "wow," and "well, who did get in then?"

    Lastly, I think I've done what I need to do to conceal what state I'm in. If someone notices that there's a way to see my location, please let me know so I can make the appropriate changes or delete this post. Like I said, I don't want to make the situation worse for her.

    Any thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thanks

    RB
    Edit your profile, I can see your city and state.
  5. 0
    I can relate to your friend, somewhat. I applied to our schools BSN program with a 4.0 and after the interview was not accepted. I felt like a failure, like, if they don't want me then who do they want? It is very subjective and political! Fortunately, I was able to apply again and after the second interview got in. I just hope that your friend will not give up! Try again, there may be different interviewers next time. Don't lose faith that it can happen! Try for a better paying job and just work and gain more experience. Don't value one persons opinion so much that it changes your course for worse. A student, B student...if she has a passion and works hard she will make a fine nurse.
  6. 0
    Tell your friend to try elsewhere. If he/she went through the appeal process and did get in, they might make his/her school life a living hell. Your friend needs a school that will encourage them and have faith in them.

    The truth is (and I know because my mom is a nursing instructor), some professors and deans just don't like certain students. Being around that environment due to mom and also the fact that I went through nursing school, I have seen other professors have favorites and others they just didn't like and would make their life a living hell It's not anything the student did, the professor just had their opinions and they weren't going to change them. There are professors that will encourage their students and will be fair though.
  7. 0
    RN programs are very competitive. I am sure that there were several applicants just as qualified who did not make the cut. Also, nursing school is not just about grades; there are many other variables that are weighed in the admission process. Perhaps she can reapply next year or find an LPN-BSN bridge program. Good luck to her.
  8. 1
    To the OP:

    We're kind of in the dark since the program and it's admission policies are unknown to us, thus the following is merely general advice.

    Today most every RN program in the United States has vastly more applicants than open slots each semester. While every school is different most use some formula based upon grades from pre-nursing sequence and standardised exams (NLN, HESI, etc...). While less common there are schools that still use nothing more than pre-nursing grades, others will add an interview and or essay to the mix. Whatever the criteria maybe it should be published and explained clearly by the school.

    It can happen that students with a 4.0 GPA are not admitted to a NP, again it all depends upon the number of open slots versus applicants. Before they changed admission standards the Hunter-Bellevue undergraduate program here in NYC did have pre-nursing applicants with high GPAs who didn't make the cut their first time applying. If 500 pre-nursing students apply for 100 open slots and 125 or even 150 have grade averages at or >3.5, then it is highly likely someone even at 4.0 may not get in.

    Usually the interview portion of a nursing school application is not as highly weighted as grades and test scores (if required). My first thought as to why this could be is that interviews are highly subjective and could leave a school open to lawsuits if someone felt they should have been admitted based upon other more solid criteria (grades/test scores), and wasn't.

    Regarding the instructor's comment about preferring "B" grade nurses to "A" students, it is not an uncommon view based upon what those holding such views see as the qualities that produce an excellent nurse.

    Years ago nursing school was more about learning the "nursing arts" and how to provide patient care and so forth. What has happened over the past decade or so is a laser sharp focus on first time NCLEX pass rates. To that note there are several studies that correlate passing the nursing boards with high academic achievement in a NP. There have always been nurses who were brilliant on paper but their bedside skills were lacking. Either they could not effectively make all that education translate into practical use, or they simply for various reasons of their own would not provide the sort of patient care one expects of a compassionate nurse. Sure they could spout Lippincott nursing manuals from cover to cover but direct patient care just wasn't up their street, and worse by action manner or both they let you (the patient) know it.

    Your friend shouldn't be too taken aback by this slight detour from becoming a RN. Tell her to seek out another program and move on. Hundreds of persons have been turned down on their first attempt to enter a nursing program and or told to find something else because they *never* would become one. Years later most are and out there providing excellent patient care.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  9. 0
    DoGoodThenGo- your response was awesome! I agree with the previous posts, grades aren't everything. Some people are excellent test takers but horrible in the clinical setting. I am sure there are many other nursing programs that would welcome her 4.0 average with open arms, so she shouldn't be discouraged.
  10. 0
    OP: the hard reality is that a having a perfect GPA doesn't guarantee acceptance into a nursing program. A 4.0 doesn't guarantee someone the spot over the applicant with a 3.5. Nor does a 4.0 guarantee a job or even job interviews after graduation.

    Yes, grades do matter a lot for getting into nursing school, and given this job market grades do matter a lot more for new grads than they used to. But grades are no guarantee of anything--they're just one factor of many considered.

    I hope your friend finds a program soon.


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